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Art, Ad, or Alchemy

F&I Printing Is Everywhere!

Typically overlooked, functional and industrial printing is used in thousands of everyday items.




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IN EPISODE 20, Andy MacDougall interviews Dan Gilsdorf, of Sefar USA about the hidden and lucrative world of functional and industrial screen printing. The world of functional and industrial (F&I) printing is hiding around us in plain sight. Since first appearing in the 1940’s, F&I has managed to avoid the U.S. and Canadian governments, who still consider print as predominately on paper. The average person wouldn’t know about F&I printing and, I have to say it, the average T-shirt or poster printer is blind to it as well. That’s even though we collectively use the products that rely on this category of printing in their manufacturing process hundreds and thousands of times every day. You’re reading this on a device full of print.

How big is this market? Massive. And growing. Imagine we stack up every cell phone and tablet ever made. Next, add all of your consumer electronics and appliances. Then we throw every car windshield on the pile. Dashboards and touchscreens. And we add all the solar cells. Include hydrogen fuel cells and let’s scrape the inside of every Boeing airliner. The wallpaper technically is graphic screen printing, but its function is fire-resistance. Next, we dump on all the Covid rapid tests, diabetic test strips, and a bunch of nicotine patches. Pretty big pile? We’re only getting started.

All this and more on this episode of the “Art, Ad, or Alchemy?” podcast and companion column from the March/April 2024 digital edition.

ABOUT THIS PODCAST: Screen Printing: Art, Ad, or Alchemy? covers the wide variety of uses of the world’s oldest printing technology in its modern form. The podcast introduces listeners to the people and the magic behind the squeegee. From leading-edge medical devices fighting COVID, to fine art and rock posters, the clothes you wear and the teams you cheer for, the electronic devices and new energy sources that will guide our future – it’s a screen printed world out there, and host Andy MacDougall will take you into it.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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